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My Spring Skin Care Regimen: Introducing Karelèn Products

I like to think of myself as a bit of a lotion connoisseur, so when I heard about the new brand, Karelèn, and their line of body butters, hand and body lotions, and dry oils, it was like I’d died and gone to heaven. Actually, my first thought was, “What is a dry oil and why haven’t I tried one yet?!”

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Receiving my goodies in the mail was much like opening my presents on Christmas morning. There was a lot of oohing and aahing. The body butters, lotions, and dry oils come in 13 fragrances, each with their own unique healing nutrients such as Vitamin E to neutralize free radicals, avocado rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and olive oil to promote cell growth.

I am a sucker for good packaging, and I loved the little pump on my Vivacious Vitamin E Hand & Body Crème. Not only did it make my skin feel silky smooth, it had a light and fresh fragrance that is perfect on these warmer sunny days.

…And can we talk about the dry oils? I love the idea of oils, but usually they are pretty messy and can leave stains on sheets and clothing. The two oils I’ve been using (Luscious Coconut and Olive All Over) go on like an oil, but rub in matte. They also smell divine- I have a small obsession with anything coconut! I was a little skeptical when the bottle said it was fast-drying, easily absorbed, and non-greasy, but the description was spot on. My only wish for these bottles is that they had spray nozzles to create a mist, rather than droplets of oil. Kind of like the old Australian Gold tanning oil sprays I used to use when I was a clueless sun worshipping high schooler.

Below you can see how matte the oil is after I rubbed it into my hand. No sun glare here!

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Karelèn also has a whole line of hair products called Curly Twirls. Although the weather has not become quite humid enough yet for me to wear my hair wavy, I have sprayed their Frizz Blitz Spritz with Argan Oil on my frizzies to smooth them down. I can’t wait to use the Curly Twirls Custard when it gets a little warmer. Both of these smell fantastic! On the left my frizzies are out in full force, and on the right they have been tamed by the Frizz Blitz Spritz. Nice and smooth and definitely not greasy looking!

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The amazing thing about Karelèn products are that they are made in the U.S.A and are crafted with the earth’s finest essential oils. They contain no glycols, parabens, mineral oils, or petrolatum, and best of all are cruelty free. And for $8 each, they are a steal. If you want to check out their whole line, head over to their website at http://karelen.com.

Have you tried Dry Oils yet? Tell us in the comments below!

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

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Animal Print

I can’t remember exactly when my leopard print obsession started. I know it was within the past 5 years since I graduated college, but I don’t think a week goes by without at least one outfit featuring leopard. As far as I’m considered, it’s a neutral. I wear leopard with floral, stripes and all sorts of other print. Power clashing is my favorite past time.

So as you can imagine, on a lazy weekend day when I just want to wear pajamas but realize that’s not socially acceptable, leopard is a must. This weekend I opted for my leopard slip-on sneakers. They jazz up the most boring of outfits and make me feel like I didn’t just roll out of bed unshowered when, in fact, I did.

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Trench Cole Haan | Sweatshirt Target | Necklace ILY Couture (similar)

Jeans Citizens of Humanity | Sneakers Target

Nothing cheers me up like a little animal print OOTD!

How do you feel about leopard print? Do you wear it often?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

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Schwarzkopf’s New Dry Shampoo Leaves Hair Voluminous and Clean

Hey beauties! I’m pretty sure I am one of the last girls on the planet to jump on the dry shampoo bandwagon. I know our very own Kristin Bassett has her go-to product, and many of my friends swear by it. So when I had the opportunity to test out Schwarzkopf Styliste Ultime Biotin+ Volume & Texture Luxe Fresh Dry Shampoo, I was thrilled!

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I have to admit, it is a rare day that I don’t shampoo my hair. Sometimes I’ll get into weekend mode and go a little longer without my shower, but I cannot stand the feel of unwashed hair. Maybe because I have A LOT of it. It took everything in my power to leave my hair dirty for this experiment.

The Schwarzkopf products are specifically designed to leave your hair feeling weightless while adding volume and giving roots a boost. The great thing about the dry shampoo is it can be used on clean hair to add a little texture and volume. Score!

A few things I noticed after spraying my roots from about 8 inches away:

  • The air felt cold and refreshing
  • It had a whitish color (like powder) that needed to be rubbed in
  • The scent was fantastic!

My only suggestion while using this dry shampoo would be not to spray it directly on your part, as it does tend to begin as a powdery tint. Also, it does need to be worked in pretty well to assure it has even coverage. Although it left my hair looking more matte than shiny, it did give it volume and felt MUCH cleaner. See for yourself:

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Schwarkopf has a whole styliste ULTÎME Biotin+ Volume & Texture Collection, and for the price ($6.97 each), you can’t go wrong.

Are you ready to jump on the dry shampoo bandwagon?!

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

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My So-called Beautiful Life: Montreal

You might have noticed that I haven’t posted a new blog post in a week. Gasp! It’s not because I have forgotten about you. It’s because I was in Montreal for my “real” job and I had less free time than I anticipated, so I feel behind on my posts. Poor planning skills, me.

Not my usual type of 'gram, but thought this convention center was too pretty to pass up - Kristin

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While I barely saw the outside of the convention center, I made sure to leave a bit of time to walk around the beautiful city and of course check out the local drugstore (Pharmaprix) and Sephora to see what different products I could find. I went to Pharmaprix twice and made great friends with the sales associate. I picked up a bronzer primer and lip crayon from Bourjois and this gorgeous lippie in “Excessive Rose” from Guerlain. Apparently they carry some designer brands in Canadian drugstores … excuse me while I move.

In Montreal for work, so naturally had to check out the drugstore beauty situation. Pharmaprix is AMAZING but I controlled myself and only got two things I can't find back in Boston. Buuuuutttt I might be going back - Kristin  #bbloggers #beautybloggers #beautyxpose #bosbloggers #bostonbloggers #drugstorebeauty

Theeennnnnnn I headed to Sephora on Sunday AM for the VIB Rouge event. I wasn’t going to let being in another country keep me from the samples and 15% off. Not only did I attend, I called the store in advance to ensure they had space for me. I left a very rambly voicemail begging to get in … it was pretty epic. Rather than list everything I bought, I’ll be posting a collective haul from the past few weeks in a couple of days.

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Being out of the country for work won't keep me from a VIB Rouge event - Kristin  #bbloggers #beautybloggers #beautyxpose #bosbloggers #bostonbloggers #ohcanada

Like I said, not a whole lot to report from my trip, but I wanted to pop in and say hi so you didn’t think I had dropped off the face of the earth.

What are some of your favorite things to do in Montreal?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

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The Eyes Have It: Which Types of Beauty Products Make them Sparkle?

Happy April, beauties. It’s finally starting to feel like Spring here in Boston, which is a welcome change. Our favorite guest blogger, Celeste from Skin Authority, is back to answer another one of your skin care questions. This month, she’s hear to tackle the topic of eye skin care. Enjoy!

The eyes are one of the first things that people notice when they meet you, so let’s give them extra love. I’m often asked if the same moisturizer that is used on the face can be used on the eyes. Sorry, beauties, the answer is no.

Under-eye creams are different than facial creams and moisturizers in many ways. Since the skin around the eyes is significantly thinner and more delicate than facial skin, specific formulas are needed. Also:

  • The skin around the eye area requires a pH level that differs from that which facial creams often provide.
  • Many facial creams contain added fragrances and/or petroleum, which are not safe for use around the eyes.
  • Face products may have different end-results in terms of product benefits.

Effective products for the eyes contain powerful ingredients including arnica, vitamins K & E, and polymers. These ingredients not only aid in eye hydration, but also address puffiness, discoloration, and tightening of the eye area.

A few more tips for sparkling eyes:

  • Ice cubes are great to relieve stayed-up-too-late eyes. Just lightly move the ice cube back and forth under your eyes a few times for a lift.
  • Baggy eyes? Use your fingertips to create a light, circular massage motion under your eyes. Finish by pushing your fingers toward your nose; this helps release extra, unneeded moisture through your tear ducts.

As usual, Celeste is a great source of skin-care knowledge. If you haven’t already, check out her posts on skin care resolutions, skin care basics and face oils for acne-prone skin.  And as always, if you have any questions for Celeste, you can email them to me at kristinbassett@beautyxpose.com and I’ll make sure to have her answer them next month!

What are your favorite eye products?

Photos: Ultra Luxe Skin Care; Disclosure

About the author: With two decades in the beauty and skin care industries, Celeste Hilling is the Founder, CEO and Product Formulator for Skin Authority. Skin Authority is respected for developing pure and powerful products without the use of parabens, added fragrance, dyes or animal testing. More on www.skinauthority.com, Facebook at Skin Authority, Twitter @SkinAuthority and @MissSkin.

 

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Last Call (and a Giveaway): Ulta 21 Days of Spring Beauty

Oh hello, you beauty, you. Just a friendly reminder that the Ulta 21 Days of Spring Beauty promotion comes to a close this Saturday. We wish it wasn’t so, but all good things much come to an end.  Take a glance at the rest of the deals this week and then enter our AH-MAZING giveaway at the end of the post.

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This giveaway is now closed. And the best part of this post? I’ve teamed up with Ulta to bring you a whole butt-load of fabulous beauty products in this giveaway. Let’s take a moment to realize what’s up for grabs here – more than $450 worth of goodies are coming to the winner! The prize package includes:

  1. Too Faced Cat Eyes Purrrfection Kit – $36
  2. Benefit Cosmetics The Flawless Four – $24
  3. LORAC Dazzling Dozen 2 Eye Shadow Collection – $39
  4. Stila Shimmer All Night Makeup Set – $38
  5. bareMInerals Bare Tutorials Bronze Smoky Eyes – $29.50
  6. Algenist The Firming & Lifting Collection – $54
  7. IT Cosmetics Hello Lash Extensions Mascara plus No-Tug Gel Eye Liner – $24
  8. Urban Decay The Ultimate Pair – $26
  9. Dermadoctor Kakadu C Face Crème – $65
  10. Dermadoctor Kakadu C Eye Soufflé – $68
  11. BECCA Mineral Blush – $32
  12. BECCA Beach Tint – $25
  13. BECCA Beach Tint Shimmer Soufflé – $27

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck to all who enter!

What goodies in the giveaway gift package are you most excited for?

Photos: Ulta; Disclosure

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March Favorites 2015

Since today is the last day of March (get the picture already, Mother Nature) I figured it would be a good time to pay homage to my month’s favorites. Aside from the brow wiz, these are all new goodies.

I’ve had this look on repeat all month. Apply tinted moisturizer, sweep on shadow, define my brows and a few other odds and ends (read: mascara, blush, etc.) then wash off at the end of the night. I’m not bored yet and I don’t see a huge shake up in my daily routine just yet. Who knows, maybe my March favorites will roll over into April.

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Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water | Neutrogena Long Wear Eye Shadow

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue | Anastasia Brow Wiz

What beauty products are on your March favorites list?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

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Take Advantage of Ulta’s 21 Days of Spring Beauty

Hi, dolls. Just a quick post today. I wanted to pop in and remind you to take advantage of Ulta’s 21 Days of Spring Beauty, which ends on April 4th.

Today’s deal is a fabulous one – 50% off of Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer, which is my current go-to shadow primer. Today, you can also get Strivectin Age-Fighting Discovery Kit for $20 (normally $35).

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And on top of all of the great steals, Ulta is hosting loads on in-store events, which you can read more about here. Now excuse me, please. I need to clean up from lounging around and high-tail it to the new Ulta that opened down the street from me.

What deal from the 21 Days of Spring Beauty if your favorite?

Photos: Ulta; Disclosure

March Empties

March Empties 2015

I have actually never done an empties post before, so I figured it was about time. It works out nicely because I recently used up the last of a bunch of different beauty items. You’ll notice that this is mostly hair and skin care products because I run through them much quicker than makeup and perfume.

I’ll give you a quick run down of my thoughts on each product and whether I plan to repurchase or not. And with that, let’s get into my March empties.

March Empties

March Empties

March Empties

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser – This is not only an amazing drugstore concealer, but an amazing concealer despite the price. I would gladly pay twice or three times the price for this concealer. It covers dark circles fully and seamlessly. You can’t even tell you’re wearing makeup. It’s one of my two go-to concealers, and I make sure to always have one in my makeup stash. Repurchase? Already did

L’Oreal Butterfly Mascara – This is bay far my new favorite mascara. I like it more than most of my designer mascaras right now and would gladly pay department store prices for this amazing drugstore find. It lengthens and defines my lashes and scores me loads of compliments whenever I wear it. Repurchase? Already did

Skin Authority Resurfacing Accelerator – I don’t go to sleep without using this amazing gel. I was beyond devastated when my boyfriend said he had used the last pump because I hadn’t planned in advance and had to go a few days without before my new bottle arrived. It turns over my skin cells, keeping my face bright and smooth. Repurchase? Already did

Rituals Hammam Hot Scrub – This is the most amazing store-bought scrub I’ve ever used. The only scrub that comes close to rivaling it is my homemade sugar scrub. It was a lifesaver this Winter when the harsh weather took a tool on my poor skin. Repurchase? Eventually once I use up my other scrubs.

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap – This is the only face cleanser I use, and I have been for years now. It does the job without being too harsh on my skin … all while being super affordable. I don’t feel the need to even try out other cleansers for the time being. Repurchase? Already did

Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo – This dry shampoo is MY JAM. I use it almost every day, regardless of if I just washed my hair or if I haven’t washed it in days. I refuse to use anything else because this works so well for me and is less than $10. Repurchase? Already did

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo –  I am neutral on this shampoo. It does a fine enough job, but I’m not dying to replace it. I’m weirdly un-loyal to any specific shampoo and conditioners, so I’ll just check out which brand is on sale next time I go to CVS. Repurchase? Maybe

Herbal Essences Naked Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner – Same reaction as to the Hello Hydration Shampoo. Repurchase? Maybe

I don’t think I’ll run through products quickly enough to do a monthly empties post, but I’ll save all my bottles and do another one when I’ve got a decent amount of products to talk about.

What beauty products have you used up recently?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

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Beautiful Boston: Endurance Pilates and Yoga Studio

A couple of weekends ago, I met up with a bunch of fabulous local bloggers at a three-month old yoga and pilates studio in the South End – Endurance Pilates and Yoga.

endurance pilates and yoga studioWe were greeted by the fabulous and energetic owner Julie Erickson. After a quick introduction, she whisked us down a flight of stairs (covered in leopard-print carpet) to the intimate studio for an hour-long sample in which we rotated through pilates, barre and yoga exercises. After, she talked us through the TRX and kettlebell classes she offers in addition and then we took a turn on the reformers. Surprisingly, they are way more fun and less intimidating than I originally thought.

endurance pilates and yoga studioAfter breaking a sweat, we noshed on the tasty treats Julie and her team put out for us while she told us more about her story and her practice. Julie has been teaching for 20 years, and it shows in her practice. Julie was recently named Boston Magazine’s Best Of Boston® 2014 Personal Trainer!

endurance pilates and yoga studioJulie has an amazing story – as the daughter of a double-amputee, she saw how important core strength was to those learning to walk on prosthetics. It was because of this personal experience that Julie was inspired to work with some of the Marathon bombing survivors (pro bono, I might add). It was beyond touching to hear her talk about how pilates has allowed the survivors to take control of their lives again.

Julie generously gifted each blogger in attendance with a free one-on-one session. I can’t wait to get back in the studio and work out on the TRX and reformers with her help. I’ll let you know how it goes and if I make it out in one piece :) And good news for you ClassPassers, you can sign up for Endurance classes in the app!

Are you in to yoga and pilates?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure